By Published On: December 13, 2023Categories: Holidays

Story By Audrey Kent

Photos Contributed By The City of Opelika


Downtown Opelika transforms into a beautiful Christmas environment during December with its twinkling lights, festive decorations and family-friendly events.

However, Opelika residents can experience even more Christmas cheer on Dec. 1 when Opie the Christmas Elf returns to town.

Opelika is Opie’s favorite town to visit, and he loves meeting new people to spread the warmth that the Christmas season creates.

Opie first arrived in Opelika last December, spreading mischief and magic while he hid from town residents, waiting to be found by the lucky person who could deliver him to Opelika City Hall for a reward. 

Opie will return from the North Pole this year to ensure everyone is on their best behavior and to see who will make it on the naughty or nice list before he helps Santa Claus deliver gifts on Christmas Eve. 

Participating in the hunt for Opie is an exciting way for all ages to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

The city of Opelika will make frequent posts on its Instagram account, @opelikacitygov, notifying when Opie is hiding and providing a clue as to where he can be found. Once he has been found, the post’s caption will be updated.

“His main activity is playing hide-and-seek where he hides around town,” said Caitlin Allen, community relations specialist at the city of Opelika. “A photo will be taken of him; then it is the citizen’s job to find him based on that and a clue before they return him to city hall, where he lives for the month of December before he goes back to the North Pole.” 

The clues to Opie’s whereabouts are riddles that must be solved to find him.

Last December, when Opie was hiding in a library, the riddle the city of Opelika’s Instagram account gave was, “Tired of having your route twisted and turned? Don’t give up! Go look in a book from which you have learned.”

Keep your cameras ready because once you find Opie, you need to snap a selfie with this little plush elf adorned in red and green clothing.

Once Opie has been found and the winners of his game take a selfie with him, they need to send the photo via direct message to the city of Opelika’s Instagram account.

“When Opie is found, they will take a selfie with him, usually post it, get him and bring him back to city hall, where they will essentially be bringing him home,” Allen said. “In exchange, they will get their little prize or gift.” 

Prizes for those who found and returned Opie last December included a tumbler with hot chocolate, a beanie and a T-shirt. 

     The last time Opie will be out and about is the week leading up to Christmas Day. 

Opie looks forward to returning to Opelika and challenges the residents to find him and bring him home when he starts his merry game of hide-and-seek.

Be sure to follow the city of Opelika’s Instagram account, @opelikacitygov, to stay updated with Opie the Elf’s arrival and the clues to his hiding spots. 

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